Young Perspectives for Old Diseases

Indexed in: EBSCO

Young Perspectives for Old Diseases is a collaborative monograph describing the current understanding of common neurodegenerative diseases. The monograph focuses on the molecular and cellular ...
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Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease and Other Peripheral Neuropathies

Pp. 269-325 (57)

Veronick Benoy, Constantin d`Ydewalle and Ludo Van Den Bosch

Abstract

Peripheral nerves connect the central nervous system with peripheral tissues in the body and are therefore crucial for all living animals to communicate with the environment. Due to the length of their axons, peripheral neurons are extremely vulnerable to insults. Inherited peripheral neuropathies comprise a large group of disorders characterized by progressive loss of axons or myelin that affect motor, sensory and/or autonomic nerves. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is the most common form of these inherited peripheral neuropathies. Peripheral nerves can also be damaged by a wide variety of stressors such as inflammation, infection, trauma, systemic disease, toxins/drugs and metabolic disturbances giving rise to several clinical subtypes of the disease. These disorders are referred to as acquired peripheral neuropathies. Ongoing research is focused on unraveling the pathogenic mechanisms underlying these debilitating diseases in order to find possible therapeutic strategies. So far, no drug therapy has been proven effective and patients have to rely on symptomatic treatments that are largely insufficient. Although there is no existing cure for peripheral neuropathies to date, some encouraging advances have been made which are also discussed in this chapter.

Keywords:

Inherited Peripheral Neuropathies, Acquired peripheral neuropathies, Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy, Hereditary Motor Neuropathy, Hereditary Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy, Myelination, nerves, Molecular mechanism, Therapy, Cytoskeleton, RNA metabolism, Membrane trafficking, Mitochondria, Immunity, Infections, Endocrinopathies, Systemic disease, Nutritional deficiencies, Chemotherapy.

Affiliation:

Vesalius Research Center, VIB, Laboratory of Neurobiology, University of Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg O&N4, box 912, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.